Thursday, November 13, 2014

So many books!

Let's just get started shall we?

Have you heard of this scientist who invented a test that can detect (with crazy accuracy) pancreatic cancer in its earliest stages?  I would try to explain this, but during my brief photoshoot with this scientist, I quickly understood I understood nothing. So I just copied this from his Wikipedia page:

Andraka cultured MIA PaCa cells, from a commercial pancreatic carcinoma cell line, which overexpress mesothelin, a biomarker[1] for ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. The mesothelin was isolated, concentrated and quantified with ELISA.[2] After optimization with the Western Blot assay, the human mesothelin-specificantibodies were mixed with single-walled carbon nanotubes and used to coat strips of ordinary filter paper. This made the paper conductive. The optimal layering was determined using a scanning electron microscope. Cell media spiked with varying amounts of mesothelin were then tested against the paper biosensor and any change in the electrical potential of the sensor strip (due to the changing conductivity of the nanotubes) was measured, before and after each application.

Impressive, right? He figured that out when he was a Sophomore in High School. Are you serious? I'm not even going to get into what I was up to when I was Sophomore in High School. It was NOT winning Intel ISEF - smarty - pants - let's - change - the - world - Awards. If you don't know of Jack Andraka, watch this video where he wins that award. Truly I only met this man twice, we hung out for only one full day, but this video is 100% Jack Andraka. He's a knock out.




You've fallen in love, right? His book promises to be just a great. It's in book stores this March.

Photography by Mark Tucker • Overall matte / spot uv / emboss title

Back to us mortals. . . or not! This is Monsters! I present the very awesome Tween / Middle Grade novel, Monstrous. This was another ridiculously fun cover to work on. The amazingly talented Skottie Young keeps saying "yes" to my project proposals. I mean when you get to draw a character as sweet and fierce as our gal Kym here, why not, right?

Monstrous is available this February!


Art by Skottie Young / Lettering by David Coulson • overall matte / embossed title

And our newest list! These guys are the newer titles we all have to sit and wait patiently for.

I don't want to give anything away about Emmy & Oliver. I'll just say it's very good, has a surprising ending and it's unlike anything I've read in YA before. Oh, also I got to work with Matthew Allen who might be one of the nicest illustrators with the most California-y vibe ever.

Anyway, check this out in June.

Illustrations by Matt Allen • 4c gloss

And my first book with the imprint, Balzer + Bray. Blazer & Bray books are awesome. They can be edgy sometimes have social issues tied to them. They're real? I mean they are the kind of books a kid like me would have loved. I read all kids of books, obviously, but Finding Paris was another one that made me go "say WHA?!?" right until the end.

And I have to say the author, Joy Preble, is amazing! Not only in her writing and story development, but like she's nice y'all. When Barnes and Noble asked for an interview from her about Finding Paris, she talked about the cover. That's totally unnecessary! When it came out, I only sent it to my Mom because I was so embarrassed about how nice it was. My Mom in turn sent it to my Grandma. I should tell Joy Preble that she made my Grandma proud. Not that my Grandma wasn't already proud... but you get where I'm going.

So buy Finding Paris in April.

Photography thinkstock / lettering by me! • specs tk


Playing Games.

I should just be honest. I've been working. Lots. Like so, so much. A lot of it on a project I inherited and isn't my story to tell. There were lots and lots of great aspects to this project. But my favorite thing was this game I played: count the number of times the author used their favorite curse word in a public setting. Everyone liked this game, it's a great game—and now it's ended...see what I did there, puns! (Hint: the big project was Endgame. And if you've ever listened to James Frey you know his favorite curse word*)  

This book was a pretty big deal. I mean this happened:


Anyway, I had nothing design wise to do with this project but it was a big one. An extremely bold endeavor . . .  I can't possibly try to describe the plot or the various wheels that are in the Endgame wheel house. You should just read it. Or play it. Seriously! So many great things went into the making of this book. I just shuffled the inside bits around, and was mighty proud of it when it was finished.

But so really what have I been up to visually? Well let's just check back in a few shall we?

*I once counted it 24 times in one speech before I forgot to keep counting. I don't know if I told him this but I bet he'd say it was fucking awesome.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

a Red Queen

Whenever we have a cover reveal, I get nervous I'll spill the beans. It's a big secret and there's lots of anticipation and I'm always paranoid that somehow I'll have a cover lurking in the background of a photo. This actually happened not too long ago when a co-worker took a HILARIOUS picture of me at my desk, rolling out my back with a racquetball. We liked it because it looked like I had a back boob:

Me, My back boob, my embarrassment moments before said racquetball fell down my dress.

Anyway. In the back is the spec'ed comp of RED QUEEN along with the crown from the photo shoot. Thankfully it's nice and smudged and you can't really tell what's going on. But here in full regalia, and after the official reveal, our Red Queen.

4C over foil, mad hits of white, embossed crown, blood & title <3 it.

I'm not going to lie and pretend I don't absolutely adore this jacket. The full sales proof came in and I can't get enough of it. It's shiny and slick and beautiful. We printed a four color process over silver with various hits of opaque white. The silver crown bounces of the page, helped along by a sweet embossing plate. The blood runs in and out of those swirls and fleur-de-lis... ah that beautiful blood.

We had maybe too much fun on this shoot. The photographer, Michael Frost, got an ear full on blood consistency, drip lengths, and gore value from the Abracadabra costume shop on 19th street. (There is an actual "blood expert" at Abracadabra!) Finding fake blood that is beautiful proved to be an excellent challenge. I think we've managed to get that right balance of right and wrong here. And in truth, that crown is such a lovely shape, you almost forget what it's covered in—almost.

The story which is featured here, is wonderful. You should read it this winter. You can borrow the actual crown when you do—we cleaned off most of the blood... I think.

Friday, April 11, 2014

This week'a books!

Here's this weeks haul: Rebel and Free to Fall!


Nice. Happy Spring and weekend to me!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fall Wrap UP

. . . and we are done! Here's the rest of the Fall 2014 books.

It'll be a while for my next batch I fear. Winter 2015 has proven to be rather sorted. I do enjoy a challenge though, so let's see what happens next.

Until then, some winged horses and space pirates. MIDDLE GRADE!

The Guardian Herd is supposed to be very, very cool. I haven't had the chance to read it yet. But the art for this cover is so stunning. I would die, just die if I were 12 again . . . ok currently dying. Rumor has it the ARE's are on their way down, hopefully it'll be a nice weekend read!

The Sales Conference proofs came in today and they are truly lovely. I was lucky enough to afford a 4C process over silver foil for the title (which is also sculpt emboss). Hopefully we'll be able to keep that 4C over silver going through the series. I'd love to see this in a cool, slate blue.

4C Glossy / title prints over silver foil + sculpt emboss

And my other favorite logo (self pat on the back) Jupiter Pirates #2. The color palette smacked me right in the face when I saw it. I have never ever, ever seen space so illuminated. I just squealed at the pinks and purples coming out of the jets. A wonderful gold logo really pulls this together. If it weren't for the amazing Tom Lintern, there is no way this could ever look as cool as this:

4C over silver foil / embossed title, debossed subtitle

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book day! Thunderhawk edition

Ms. Kelley Armstrong has a new series coming out, I was lucky enough to work on this packaging. I absolutely love how it turned out. It's so matte and velvety. This book looks delicious!


Our thunder hawk is real! On sale April 8!

Oh and if you like a book without its cover:


That's just reading sexy to me.

Course, I'm biased.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Believe it or not It's Fall 2014 (...and I'm walking on air)

Our first round of Fall 2014 book covers are available to share! There are still a few out there waiting for their big reveal but for now how about some graphic novels and a sweeping desert epic romance? Great!

First up, Mr. Neil Gaiman and Mr. P. Craig Russell are back at it again. This time it's a two volume set for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. This book won the Newbery Medal in 2009 (Is that right?! Time is flying!) This is my first experience with graphic novels and I am learning a lot. While I'm lucky enough to have a real guru work on the interior set up, the cover and going over the printing components have been a lot of fun to hammer out.

Each chapter of these books has been illustrated by a different person. While the handlettering (yea, the whole book is done by hand!) remains constant, the art changes throughout and it's very, very rad. We're also hoping to print these bad boys with a lot of added perks. Everyone cross your fingers for printed end papers! It's a good thing working with a billion talented artists.

Until the books come out with all those extra cool bits, here are the covers!


Matte/Spot UV and some gold foil

Vol 2. more of the same: Matte/Spot UV and some gold foil

And if long, sweeping desert romance is more your style: FORBIDDEN by Kimberley Griffiths Little. I'm still working on the specs for this, but how cool with a four color + gold ink in this be? So cool, it'd be hot. (Get it!?)